Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema snubbed Man Utd as he ‘dreamed’ of Real Madrid

Karim Benzema claimed he chose to join Real Madrid over Manchester United.

The French forward, who won the prestigious Ballon d’Or on Monday beating the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Kevin De Bruyne, said that he turned down the chance to head to Old Trafford in 2009 and has never looked back since.

With Los Blancos, the veteran attacker won four La Liga titles, five Champions Leagues, and two Copa del Reys. But things could have been a whole lot different 13 years ago when he was at Lyon and had some of Europe’s elite clubs to pick from.

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And Benzema has explained just how his £35million move to Madrid came to fruition, saying to Spanish radio station Onda Cero: ''I remember I was with my friends. They called me, my family and my agent, to tell me that I had to go home quickly and that we had to talk.

''I told them I didn't have time , and they told me “you have to come, Florentino is here.” I opened the door and saw him, I didn't say anything, just “hello”.''

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He continued: ''There were quite a few clubs that contacted me, like Manchester [United], Inter and Barcelona, but I decided to come here,'' he said. ''Real Madrid are an excellent club. I've dreamed about playing here since I was 15 years old. Florentino [Pérez] spoke to me about the team and the project that he wanted to create.

''It was very exciting. Real Madrid fans have a special relationship with the players and I am very grateful for that. I felt some strong emotions today and that's why I kissed the badge.''

It is thought that even AC Milan were keen on the services of the striker, but it was Real club president Florentino Perez who was the biggest factor in the move.


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